College CEO among 100 top influential people in the City.

Stoke on Trent College’s CEO Sarah Robinson has been named amongst the 100 most influential people of the area.

The accolade came today (26th January) from the local newspaper, The Sentinel, which hand-picked the 100 individuals as key influencers who are making an inspiring contribution to the City of Stoke on Trent.

The 100, included bosses of major local employers and leaders of local organisations as well as innovative entrepreneurs or individuals who work tirelessly as good ambassadors for the Potteries area, helping to improve the lives of people in North Staffordshire.

The newspaper’s Editor in Chief, Martin Tideswell, said: “The list is a hugely positive audit of local talent and passion.  The Sentinel newspaper’s page 3 story every day is upbeat to reflect this. It is my belief there is no cavalry coming over the hill to rescue and regenerate our City.  We, the people of the Potteries, are the cavalry and together with individuals such as these we can affect positive change and spread the word about what a great place Stoke on Trent is in which to live and work!”

Sarah Robinson, OBE, joined Stoke on Trent College in December 2010 as the Principal and Chief Executive.  Ms Robinson now plays a more strategic role at the College and is also a driving force behind other education developments in the City.

As a director of the College Academies Trust, she helped to set up studio college specialising in construction and engineering.  The trust also sponsors a number of schools within the area.

Also on the list were former students Rachel Shenton and Paul Farmer OBE who are both part of the College’s Alumni.

Rachel, a former performing arts student at the college, is best known for her part as wannabe glamour model Mitzeee Minniver in the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks.

She has appeared in Holby City and Waterloo Road as well as making her US TV debut in hit drama “Switched at Birth”.

Rachel is an active fund-raiser and patron of Shelton-based dDeaflinks as well as being an ambassador for the National Deaf Children’s Society and is currently filming in the area, using College students for support.

Paul Farmer OBE is the Managing Director of Wade Ceramics.  Paul, who studied business at Stoke on Trent College, was part of the management buyout team that took over Wade’s in 1999 and he became the managing director the following year.

Wade marked its 200th anniversary by moving into a new factory in 2010 which now employs 140 people.  Using state of the art technology to drive innovation, Paul guided and mentored employees to gain their NVQ’s to operate the machinery when their skill base in the previous factory wouldn’t allow use of the new machinery under health and safety regulations.

Paul was presented with an OBE by Prince Charles in 2015 for his services to international trade and the ceramics industry.  He is the current President of Staffordshire Chambers and contributes to the College’s success with motivational talks to students.


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